Electricity North West has removed overhead power lines and electricity poles at Braithwaite, near Keswick, at a cost of £43,000
By the time the current programme finishes in 2023 approximately 37km of electricity power lines, costing more than £4 million, will have been undergrounded in the Lake District National Park alone. The Braithwaite scheme will remove nearly half a kilometre of overhead wires from the National Park.
The work is funded by an undergrounding allowance from the regulator Ofgem, forming part of an eight-year programme. Lake District National Park Authority survey the electricity lines in the National Park and the most feasible are then submitted to Electricity North West to be incorporated in the undergrounding programme.
Friends of the Lake District Overhead Wires Officer, Amanda McCleery, said: “Skiddaw is the attractive backdrop to this rural landscape, so it is great to get the poles and wires removed. Friends of the Lake District appreciates the hard work put into such undergrounding schemes by multiple staff within Electricity North West, from the first site survey to the last pole being taken down.”
Jonathan Eggleston, Programme Delivery Manager for Electricity North West, said: “We’re delighted to be able to enhance the local landscape so everyone can enjoy this beautiful part of Cumbria. Our electricity network is vital to ensure our customers across the North West receive a reliable power supply to their homes and businesses, but we do understand that sometimes power lines can impact the local landscape. We’re committed to working with the communities in which we operate and we will continue to work closely with the Lake District National Park Authority to help further protect this stunning area.”
Chris Greenwood, on behalf of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: “The beautiful landscape across the Lake District is an important resource and we must do what we can to ensure that essential services, like the power network, are delivered in a way that doesn’t detract from our most sensitive landscapes. Working closely with Electricity North West to try and remove some of these overhead lines is an important part of that process.”
Our take? The Lake District has attracted its fair share of criticism in light of the recent UNESCO World Heritage Site announcement, with critics pointing out that the landscape is ecologically degraded, but this is a step in the right direction.